Monday, August 22, 2011

How I spent my summer vacation

It's over. The lazy days of my staycation - waking up late, eating whatever whenever I chose, taking little day trips with the kids, watching Netflix shows to my hearts content - it's over. For the past two weeks, I have just gone into the office on Wednesdays (so as to not get too far behind) in order to enjoy the last two weeks of summer with my kids before school started today.

They were thrilled this morning:

(Glad I took a picture of those white sneakers, because I'm sure they will never be white again. And if anyone doesn't want to make a Jack O'Lantern this Halloween, you can borrow one of my gap-toothed kids.)

I, on the other hand, can barely keep my eyes open and am mourning the end of summer vacation. Here's what I did for those two, glorious weeks:

My callouses are coming along quite nicely, as I have spent hours upon hours hand quilting the Pick and Choose quilt. Yet, I still just have 10 of the 25 blocks done. I love hand quilting, but seriously, could it go any slower? I am anxious to work on something new, but I fear I will never finish this quilt!

While quilting, the iPad was rarely far away, and I finally finished all 87 episodes of Brothers and Sisters available on Netflix. I thought that was everything, but apparently, it is still a show that is shown on TV, who knew? So, that final episode on Netflix, where I thought everything would be resolved - WRONG! It ended with a horrific car crash! Luckily, the next season is available on DVD tomorrow. I hope that Netflix makes it available soon, because I want to know what happened! (If you know, don't tell me!)

Some of my "reading" was auditory; I listened to UP FROM SLAVERY by Booker T Washington on a PlayAway from the library. Good thing I was listening and not reading it, because I might not have finished otherwise. When I read it as a kid, it was as a school assignment, and I didn't put much thought into what he wrote. As an adult, I was disappointed with his writing style that included so much hyperbole "there was never a group of people more thankful/gracious/hardworking/whatever" (really? Has he met everyone out there so that he can make such a claim?), so many value judgments "the best people from Richmond were in attendance" (who is HE to determine who the "best" people are?), and so many falsehoods "the Klu Klux Klan is now nonexistent" (um, hello, it still exists TODAY, so I KNOW it was still in existence when he published his book in 1901). Needless to say, I did NOT enjoy this book. I know the man did great things for himself, for the South and for African Americans, and I agree that industrial education is a valuable thing, but I am convinced that he had an agenda when writing this book, so I suspect that the "autobiography" has more spin in it than reality.

Bonnie Hunter of Quiltville let us know a while back on her blog of a free eBook, Lye in Wait by Cricket McRae. I downloaded it onto my iPad (I swear, that thing is the best invention since electricity!), and really enjoyed reading that. I love the idea of women making a business and a living from a craft that they enjoy, so these types of stories really appeal to me. Plus, I love mysteries. I plan to read the other books in the series.

I got Dark Road Home by Karen Harper from An Amish quilting mystery - right up my alley. There was some rather stilted and predictable romance, but the rest of the story appealed to me. I recommend it, and I'm glad to have it in my quilting fiction library.

I was determined to DO things with my kids during these last two weeks of summer vacation. One day, we went canoeing.

(my husband was not thrilled with this choice of activity, but he is a good doobie and came along for the ride)

One day we went to the skatepark.

One night we went on the Ghost Tour of Lexington, VA.

We spent a day with my brother and his family at their city pool.

(walking the half mile or so to the pool)

(hanging out on top of a car(!?!) eating Andy Capp Hot Fries after spending the afternoon at the pool)

We pulled out the Slip N Slide one day.

We went to the drive-in movies several times (of course!).

In short, we had FUN!

Back to real life...